Car buffs still flock to auction

RENO — The recession hasn’t slowed the passion or the spending of serious classic car collectors.

At an auction this past week in Reno as part of the city’s annual Hot August Nights event, spit-polished beauties came under the lights, some fetching six figure prices.

About 700 cars were up for auction, considered one of the main events of Hot August Nights festivities and the global flagship event for Silver Auctions of Spokane, Wash.

“For a lot of people, their version of Hot August Nights is spending it entirely in this building for this auction,” said Mitch Silver of Silver Auctions.

“We will ship cars to Europe. We will ship cars to Australia. We will ship cars all over, and virtually every state in the union has someone here,” he said. “Generally, this hobby leans to the wealthy.”

Car collectors and the cars they buy have hardly been dented by the recession, some said.

“I don’t think it has touched the cars,” said Don Brooks of B&T Custom Rod and Restoration in Sparks. “Last year was good, and the year before was good, too.”

Mark Young of Portland, Ore., who has brought dozens of cars to the Reno auction over the years, only partially agreed.

“I don’t really know if the economy has affected honest, low-mileage documented cars that much,” Young said. “The average cars, yes. They are doing average prices.

“But the low-mileage, original-documented cars are still holding. They are better than money in the bank.”

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